Consumption

Consumption

For many centuries chemists, scientists, and medical men generally have been vainly battling with this dis-ease. It is only within the past decade that it has been understood or successfully treated.

Consumption is an infection of the lungs by the bacteria called bacillus tuberculosis. The local inflammation produces lesions, and the formation of small growths (nodules) of gray, white, or yellowish tubercles.

Authorities differ concerning the bacillus

It is yet an open question and a matter of grave doubt in the minds of various authorities on this subject as to whether the bacilli is the real cause , or the result  of the dis-ease. The fact that a person or an animal afflicted with tuberculosis was in "susceptible condition" is much emphasized by all authorities.

Predisposing conditions and occupations

Such disorders as catarrh, influenza, chronic colds, etc., are all predisposing conditions. Such trades as metal grinding, spinning, weaving, cleaning grain, street sweeping, or any vocation necessitating the breathing of large quantities of dust, are termed predisposing occupations, which show very clearly that all writers are practically agreed that the real cause is undoubtedly due to imperfect oxidation or impaired use of the lungs.

The above conditions may be brought on from two specific causes—

1 By the habitual overingestion of food, and the consequent congestion of effete matter in the lungs, brought thither by the circulation in its effort to dispose of the waste-products by burning them with oxygen.

2 Through the agency of foreign substances breathed in, which gradually congest, and prevent thorough oxidation and normal activity of the excretory function of the lungs.

Bacilli the result, not the cause of consumption

The opinion of the writer is that the bacillus above referred to is the result and not the cause of this dis-ease, and that such living organisms (bacilli) are created in the economy of Nature to dispose of this congested matter, just as she, in her provident economy, disposes of the carcass of a dead animal.

Facts shown by experiments and by modern treatment of consumption

The fact that a tuberculosis culture, deposited in the lungs of another animal, reproduces the dis-ease, proves nothing, as it may have been planted in susceptible soil, well prepared for the growth and the development of the bacteria. The fact that some very healthy animals did not contract the dis-ease by this method, supports the theory that if conditions are not favorable the culture is killed by the process of oxidation. This sustains the theory that the bacillus tuberculosis is the result, and not the cause of this dread dis-ease. This theory is further supported by the results of the most modern and only successful methods of treating it.

Consumption—the Treatment

When beginning treatment, the tubercular patient should be restricted as to diet for the purpose of giving Nature an opportunity to make use of every atom of food taken into the body, leaving nothing to go to waste.

The diet should consist almost wholly of vegetable fats, sour milk, nuts, fruits, salads, and eggs, with a limited amount of readily digestible carbohydrates.

The following menu is given as a fair example of selection as to quantity and combinations:

BREAKFAST

Cantaloup, orange, grapes, pears, or persimmons

Two or three eggs, whipped five minutes, adding a teaspoonful of lemon juice, and one of sugar to each egg

LUNCHEON

A green salad eaten with nuts, a dash of lemon juice and olive-oil

One or two fresh vegetables, including a baked potato

One egg prepared as for breakfast

A glass of sour milk

DINNER

A green salad, with nuts and oil

Eggs or buttermilk

One or two fresh vegetables

A baked potato

The above menus may be increased in quantity after the first week or ten days, at least sufficient to meet all physical requirements, and the articles may be changed according to seasons.

Dietetic suggestions for spring and summer in consumptive cases

In spring and summer all kinds of fruits and berries may be used, and such vegetables as squash, asparagus, spinach, beets, green peas and beans, turnips, parsnips, carrots, and green corn. All of these vegetables should be cooked in a casserole dish.

The bowels should be kept free. Drink copiously of pure water.

Suggestions for the treatment of mild cases of consumption

If the patient is not far advanced, he should seek employment which affords constant exercise in the open air, preferably in the hills or mountains, and the labor should be of such a character as to cause normal activity of the liver and the bowels, and to enforce deep respiration. A spirometer or lung-measuring machine should be secured, and the patient should practise upon this night and morning, endeavoring each day to register from one to five cubic inches more than the previous day, until every air cell of the lungs is opened and the full capacity is reached, which should be about 315 cubic inches for the average man, and 250 for the woman of normal size.

General rules of hygiene in consumptive cases

Contrary to usual customs and theories, the patient should take a cool sponge bath every morning, in a warm room, except in very cold weather. It should be followed by a vigorous rub down and deep breathing. Wear thin cotton under-clothes. Dress as lightly as possible, except when exposed where exercise or motion cannot be taken, such as riding in an open car or vehicle. Nature's method of producing hardihood and increasing endurance is by means of exposure. The house-plant life is conducive and favorable to tuberculosis.

Importance of perfect oxidation

The most important thing in the treatment of this dis-ease is perfect oxidation (breathing). Every cell of the lungs should be filled at every breath. The lungs should be filled to their extreme capacity, one hundred or more times a day, with pure, fresh, dustless air. The patient should never breathe the same breath twice; especially should he not breathe the air that has been used by other people, or by pet animals in a closed room.

In order to carry out this regimen, it is necessary to live out of doors day and night, winter and summer.

The tubercular patient should sleep in a tent, or upon an open piazza every night, regardless of the weather or the temperature of the atmosphere. If these rules were observed the white plague would lose some of its terrors.

In cases of Consumption:

OMIT EAT
Coffee Cheese
Meat Eggs
Stimulants  { Preferably—
Sweets  { Carrots
Tea  { Dried beans,
Tobacco Fresh { Onions
 vegetables { Peas
  { Parsnips
  { Potatoes
  { Pumpkin
  { Squash
 Figs
 Milk
 Raisins